With all the hype surrounding Justin Schultz in the lead up to him signing with the Edmonton Oilers, you might assume that’s he’s been essentially guaranteed a roster spot out of training camp. However, Schultz emphasized to Ryan Dittrick of EdmontonOilers.com that’s not the case.
“I made it perfectly clear – and they did as well – and there’s no guarantees in this game, and you got to earn what you get,” Schultz said. “I don’t want to be that guy that has a guaranteed spot. I want to earn my spot, and the Oilers’ were definitely supportive of that.”
It would have been understandable if Schultz had let the courtship go to his head. After all, Edmonton went all out in their efforts to lock up Schultz. They even had Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey call the 21-year-old defenseman to appeal to him directly.
“Going into that process, I definitely didn’t expect that,” Schultz admitted and added that they offered insight on the city of Edmonton and what it’s like to play for the Oilers.
Naturally, Coffey and Gretzky remember the Oilers from their glory days, but given the young talent gathering in Edmonton now, they might be on the verge of a second dynasty.
Even if Schultz hasn’t been promised anything, there’s a good chance that he’ll earn a spot on the Oilers’ opening game roster. He might even end up serving on Edmonton’s top power-play unit.
There will be high expectations surrounding him after all the media attention he’s gotten this summer, but it’s nice to see that it at least sounds like he’s maintained a level head through this process.